Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

What and where is the Ahaggar?

Posted by Linus Wolf on 1 June 2020 in English (English)

Charles de Foucauld’s Dictionnaire abrégé touareg-français de noms propres “Abridged Tuareg–French dictionary of proper names” is not only a valuable gazetteer of the Tuareg-inhabited central Sahara, but also a historical source capturing a time when European understanding of Tuareg toponymy had not yet taken on a life of its own.

One example of this divergence between traditional usage of local native speakers, and European reception, is the name and possibly the extent and nature of the Ăhaggar.

The Ăhaggar, clearly and unanimously, is a mountain range or mountain massif. In the early 1900s, Ăhaggar is also attested as the name of a country containing the Ăhaggar mountains. To my knowledge, the usage continues today (in the sense of a land, perceived as culturally or socially distinct, though not politically independent).

In Europe, it’s also known by the name Hoggar, a form which came about through contact with Arabic. Besides, the central part of the mountain massif is often introduced to tourists as the Atakor, apparently also giving rise to the geologically defined area of the Atakor volcanic field. Some overlapping area is now also protected as the Ahaggar Cultural Park.

I’d like to first and mainly look at the historical explanations given in Foucauld’s Dictionnaire, which are interesting as approximations to the local usage prior to major European (or other foreign) influence. After that, I’ll also go over some representations of the Ăhaggar in online databases.

The historical usages

The mountains

According to a first entry in Foucauld’s gazetteer, the Ăhaggar is …

la région appelée proprement Ăhaggar est le massif montagneux central du pays des Kel-Ăhaggar, massif de forme ovale, […] qui est compris entre 23° et 23° 30′ lat. N. et 2° 50′ et 3° 40′ long. E.

“The region properly called Ăhaggar is the massif of mountains central to the land of the Kel-Ăhaggar, a massif of oval shape, located between 23° and 23° 30′ lat. N. and 2° 50′ and 3° 40′ long. E.”

Let’s draw an ellipsis from the given coordinates:

Approximative border of the Ăhaggar when reading the coordinates as WGS-84

That doesn’st look like a mountain range. Turns out, as a French aristocrat Foucauld still used the Paris meridian in about 1910. Hence, shifting the location by about 2.33° results in a much more sensible perimeter:

Approximative border of the Ăhaggar when shifting the coordinates from the Paris to the Greenwich prime meridian

This defines a moderate extent of what is locally called the Ăhaggar (meaning the mountain range). Foucauld also records a separate name for the foothills of the mountains, which reinforces the understanding that Ăhaggar refers only to this highest mountainous area. The rocky or mountainous areas immediately adjacent, which may be geologically completely continuous, have separate Tuareg names. They are, then, not part of the Ăhaggar mountains according to local, traditional usage (as transmitted by Foucauld). At any rate, the peaks are much lower outside the Ăhaggar.

Regarding the name of the mountains, Foucauld states that …

Ăhaggar est le nom propre de cette région et le terme le plus employé de beaucoup pour la désigner

“Ăhaggar is the proper name of this region and the term most used by many [? most used by far?] to refer to it.”

He also lists a bunch of alternative names, and, as stated above and clearly on Foucauld’s mind when writing the gazetteer, Ăhaggar is at the same time the name of the country. Therefore he decides that …

pour éviter les confusions, nous la désignons habituellement dans ce dictionnaire non pas par le nom Ăhaggar, mais par le nom Ătakôr-n-Ăhaggar

”to avoid confusion, we [i.e. the author, Foucauld] usually refer to it [the massif of mountains] in this dictionary not by the name Ăhaggar, but by the name Ătakôr-n-Ăhaggar” – in effect, in almost all instances shortened to Ătakôr.

I think it is probable that by this decision, Foucauld started the European tradition of distinguishing a central part of the Ăhaggar as the Atakor – when, in fact, Foucauld makes it clear that in local usage these names are interchangeable and refer to the same mountain area.

The country

In a second entry, Foucauld states that Ăhaggar is also the name of the …

pays tout entier des Kel-Ăhaggar (territoire soumis à la domination des Kel-Ăhaggar, compris entre le Tidikelt, l’Ăhnet, l’Ădṛaṛ, l’Ăir et l’Ăjjer)

“The entire country of the Kel-Ăhaggar (territory under the rule of the Kel-Ăhaggar, surrounded by the Tidikelt, the Ăhnet, the Ădṛaṛ, the Ăir and the Ăjjer)”

With Kel-Ăhaggar being the …

[nom propre] des Touaregs qui habitent le territoire de l’Ăhaggar, en un seul corps de nation, sous le commandement d’un chef unique

“proper name of the Tuareg who live in the territory of the Ăhaggar, as a single body of a nation, under the government of a sole ruler”

I wouldn’t make claims about undivided nationhood – Foucauld’s statement stems from a specific political era and perspective, of course. The complex structure of Tuareg society is much better described in European scientific literature by now. Nevertheless, it seems appropriate to characterize the Ăhaggar as an independent, self-governed country prior to military defeat by the French in 1902.

As described by Foucauld, the Ăhaggar mountains are the center (not geometrically) of the Ăhaggar country, and the latter is named after the former. But the country stretches far beyond the mountains, about 500 km to the North, 330 km to the East, though only some 200 km West and 150 km South. It covers various landforms – mountains and sand seas and flat rocky areas, another major mountain range (the Tefedest), and even claims some of the surrounding sandstone plateaus.

As said above, I think the Ăhaggar is nowadays still perceived by inhabitants as a distinct region or land, after decades of being subsumed in Algeria. (Perhaps the term “cultural region” might be fitting?) The distinction seems clearest in relation to the largest neighbour, the Ăjjer. Ăhaggar people have clear opinions that things are done differently in the Ăjjer, and where necessary carefully delineate spheres of influence.

Foucauld sketched the borders of the country. This sketch can be seen on page 8 and page 9 of the scan of one of his dictionaries. As a work of Charles de Foucauld, this sketch is in the public domain, and I might get around to releasing my digitization of it.

The Ăhaggar in current databases

I’ve already introduced some of the understandings of names by Europeans; I’m going to quickly cover how and where they are present in online databases:


GeoNames has two entries for the mountains, Ahaggar and Atakor, showing the European distinction described above. The placement of both entries is in the correct area; however, as said before, both names refer to the same massif for local native speakers.

There is no entry in GeoNames to reflect the historical country, current region or land.


Wikidata also distinguishes between the Hoggar and the Atakor-n-Ahaggar. On the latter item, I have already added some of the information found in Foucauld’s gazetteer. The English and German Wikipedia articles linked to Atakor-n-Ahaggar imply, to my understanding, that the Atakor volcanic field is an area established as distinct in geology – and therefore could be treated as distinct from local naming and delineation. The Dutch Wikipedia article covers both the mountain massif (i.e. the indigenous concept) as well as the volcanic field (i.e. the scientific concept).

The French Wikipedia article describes the Ăhaggar mountains as covering 50000 km²; the English article states that the mountains cover 550000 km². The ellipsis based on Foucauld’s (approximative) description has an area of about 3600 km². Therefore, the Dutch Wikipedia article comes closest with 3800 km².

I don’t know of a Wikidata item for the country Ăhaggar – maybe I’ll create one when the existing ones are improved.


OpenStreetMap has a node and a way to represent the Ăhaggar mountains. They are redundant to each other – they both describe the mountain range, without an obvious sign of the European Ăhaggar–Atakor distinction. (However, they link to the separate Wikidata entries.)

I have created the way, not too long ago. The node is much older. The way shows my best understanding of how the Ăhaggar mountains are delimited, starting from Foucauld’s (public domain) sketch map and refined according to a number of entries scattered throughout the gazetteer.

In my opinion, the two OSM objects could be merged to a single object representing the local conception that there is one mountain massif distinct from the surrounding areas interchangeably called Ăhaggar/Ătakôr (plus some other alternative names).

I’m not too keen on creating a boundary of the historically independent country, current region of Ăhaggar on OSM.

Composite satellite image of the Ăhaggar from Landsat 8 scenes

Location: Tamanghasset, de Tamanrasset District, Tamanrasset, Algeria

Configuration option added to OSM Smart Menu

Posted by jgpacker on 31 May 2020 in English (English)

Now you can disable/enable specific websites in OSM Smart Menu.

How can you access the configuration page?

  • In Google Chrome, right-click the OSMenu button, and select “Options”;
  • In Firefox Desktop, right-click the OSMenu button, select “Manage Extension” and go to the “Preferences” tab;
  • In Firefox Mobile, go to “Extensions”, and then select “OSM Smart Menu”.


Posted by AmeliaMap on 31 May 2020 in English (English)


Mapping of the West Bengal area to help with aid to areas hit by Cyclone Apmphan.

Spent 1 hour mapping buildings

Mapping as Protest

Posted by PhysicsArmature on 31 May 2020 in English (English)

Go on past 8PM in your time zone. Find a helicopter in the air that is making an obscure amount of circles. Find out where it started at, then map the area.

This is fully nonviolent, does not require you to leave your house, although it probably would not change the status quo on it’s own.

Fundraising project helps the epidemic impact

Posted by ONE​MORE​DAY​ on 30 May 2020 in English (English)

Fundraising project helps the epidemic impact

Finding "interesting" airports.

Posted by PhysicsArmature on 30 May 2020 in English (English)

Want to know where the most unmapped, most non-military, yet highly militaristic airports are? Go on, press U, find military helicopters. Click on their flight path and find where they started. I can not tell you how crazy tonight is. The amount of police choppers in the air is intense. Look something up on the news, I reassure you, there will be something in the sky.

Location: Kingfield, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, 55409, United States of America

Field names: lucky map find (Ireland)

Posted by b-unicycling on 29 May 2020 in English (English)

Luckily, I’m well connected with the right people (at least in this case), and people know my obsessions about benchmarks and field names. I had been surveying Cramersgrove in Co. Kilkenny and a friend said that “we” (in this case Kilkenny Archaeological Society) had a c 1815 Coghill Estate map in our archives with field names on it. Again luckily during lockdown, I have a key to the archives, because I was doing some work there at the beginning of lockdown, so I had a root around. The problem with those maps is that they are all rolled up and you don’t know what’s on them until they’re unrolled and not all of them are labelled. But I found the right one! And it does have field names on it and some match the ones I got from the farmer who lives there now. His great-grandfather must have been purchasing that land about the time that map was made. That should be well out of copyright and I should be allowed to add the historical names. If there is a tag…

The field with the pin is Bonnahilla on the 1816 map. A bit of a different spelling to Bawn na haille.

Location: Grove or Cramersgrove, Kilkieran, The Municipal District of Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland

Jamasi, Ashanti, Ghana

Posted by Nicki Serves on 29 May 2020 in English (English)

ema Secondary School, Ghana TEMA SECONDARY SCHOOL Jamasi, Ashanti, Ghana

Fieldnames: don't forget HerStory

Posted by b-unicycling on 28 May 2020 in English (English)

It occured to me today that when “we” are out inquiring about field names from farmers, we usually only get the names on the farm we are on or maybe neighbouring farms. I think what is very important to consider is asking the wife in the house (if she’s not already the informant) about her homestead. It’s likely that she grew up on a farm as well. And she could be from some remote area that the surveyor (“we”) is not likely to get to any time soon.

Of course you have to be prepared for that eventuality. Going out to the farm with FieldPapers of that farm won’t be any use for the wife from further afield (pun not intended). Taking a laptop, praying for good broadband and using OSM there and then might be the better strategy. If she doesn’t remember, she might still have a brother or nephew on the home farm. Once the contact is established, a FieldPaper atlas could be sent to him. She will be able to explain it to him in their own words rather than in our mappers’ lingo.

This is all academic so far; I haven’t had a chance to try it. Yet.

This month the tagging list has been mostly talking about ...

Posted by SomeoneElse on 28 May 2020 in English (English)

I’ve added a couple of short but interesting scripts to github. They fetch and sort posts from an OSM mailing list from some time in the past. For example, here are the topics on the talk list at the height of the licence change furore: talk 2012 May

 35  OSM : It's a shame !!!
 24  Edit review: ele=0
 22  Worst of OSM
 21  TomTom is thumping us
 17  Import of buildings in Chicago
 17  Edit review: intermittent waters
 16  OSM cycle map - ?excessive focus on long-distance routes
 15  Edit review: "building"="levels=N"
 14  Cycleways and Access tags: Left, Right, Forward, Backward?
 10  OpenSeaMap
 10  Cycle lanes & cycle tracks - my findings and a proposal
  7  Changing capitalization (Lima)
  6  OWL down
  6  OSM data density - top regions
  6  Old versions of OSM?
  6  Copy-and-paste remapping
  5  TTTracklog and TomTom core 9.4
  4  OSMCoastline /
  4  Mapnik rendering issue with *_link roads
  4  (dis)Honesty and Copyright

and here’s the tagging list today: tagging 2020 May

106  Reviving the path discussion - the increasing importance of trails in OSM
 75  Tag:amenity=motorcycle_taxi not approved
 58  Remove non-prefixed versions of 'contact:' scheme
 49  RFC ele:regional
 42  relations & paths
 35  Doorzone bicycle lanes
 34  Permanent ID/URI --- off topic email
 30  Feature Proposal - RFC - Recreational route relation roles
 26  Change of wiki page Key:access
 25  Adding values healthcare=dispensary and healthcare=community_care?
 24  track vs footway, cycleway, bridleway or path
 23  Is there any tagging scheme for carillons already?
 15  Meaning of "administrative" in boundary=administrative, in your country?
 14  With leisure=common deprecated, Senegal & Mali need a replacement
 14  [OSM-talk] Should we map things that do not exist?
 14  oneway=yes on motorways
 11  Section numbers in hiking routes
 11  Running but no hiking/walking
  9  Quality and the Openstreetmap value chain
  8  Fwd: Section numbers in hiking routes

looking at the names, some of these from 2007 are still familiar: talk 2007 May

 79 Frederik Ramm
 59 David Earl
 46 Nick Whitelegg
 33 Richard Fairhurst
 31 Christoph Eckert
 27 Jon Burgess
 26 Andy Robinson
 25 Martijn van Oosterhout
 21 Lester Caine
 18 SteveC
 18 Robert (Jamie) Munro
 17 Nick Black
 16 Joerg Ostertag (OSM Munich/Germany)
 15 Steve Chilton
 14 Francisco R. Santos
 14 David Groom
 14 Barnett, Phillip
 13 Hakan Tandogan
 12 Robert T Wyatt
 12 Matthias Julius

The beginnings of an Oceania OSMF local chapter

Posted by eneerhut on 28 May 2020 in English (English)

Hi everyone,

There have been conversations in the OSM community about creating a more formalised group to coordinate OSM activities in the region. This would be important step to getting recognition as a local chapter of the OpenStreetMap Foundation which would in turn allow us to collaborate more closely and potentially be eligible for grants and support going forward.

By formalised group, we were thinking of a working group that would be part of OSGeo Oceania. An initial discussion was initiated here. Please note that this application relates to the application we made to the OSMF to have OSGeo recognised as a local chapter.

FOSS4G SotM Oceania 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand FOSS4G SotM Oceania 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand

Some of the objectives of a working group we discussed include:

  • Growing the number of people contributing to OSM as well as the overall number of edits in our region.
  • Coordinating with authorities and companies in the region to get access to new data for OSM, but also to show how OSM can be used by these organisations.
  • Introducing students and any interested members of the public to mapping
  • Coordinating mapping events to focus on thematic mapping tasks such as humanitarian mapping, bushfire mapping, wheelchair accessibility etc.
  • Serving as a point of contact for anyone around the world or locally interested in engaging the Oceania OSM community.
  • Running and maintaining infrastructure such as tile servers that could help to grow OSM in our region.

To get things moving forward:

  • Do you think an OSM focused working group under OSGeo Oceania is a good idea?
  • What other objectives do you think are important?
  • Would you be willing to lead this working group or be part of it? Leading the working group would require a formalization of the objectives and the working group team.

Observing the direction other countries and regions around the world have taken, I’m confident an OSM working group and eventually a local chapter would be a huge step forward for OSM as a whole in Oceania.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


Location: Melbourne City, City of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

field names and how to tag them (Ireland)

Posted by b-unicycling on 27 May 2020 in English (English)

So, after I got a couple more field names from yesterday’s farmer, I went and ran an overpass-turbo query for fieldnames by looking for landuse=farmland, landuse=meadow and landuse=orchard plus name=*. It came up with about 700 results and i zoomed into most of them.

Here is what I found how to do better in my opinion:

  1. Don’t tag a whole farm as “landuse=farmland”. If Old MacDonald had a farm, line out every field in it and tag them individually as “landuse=farmland” or “landuse=meadow” or whatever they are.
  2. Don’t ever use “name=field” for a field. Obviously, it is a field. You can call a spade a spade, but don’t name tag a field as a field. Especially, don’t tag eight fields in a row as “name=field”. Names are used to differentiate between two or more similar items. if you had five dogs in your family, you wouldn’t refer to them all as “dog”.

Anyway, I had to bring the number down to 670 by correcting all this. That is very few field names indeed. And it should actually be lower than that, because some village greens are tagged as “landuse=meadow”, when there should be something like “leisure=green”. In my understanding of the English language, a meadow is the land adjacent to a stream or river, but then again, I’m not a native speaker.

Sorry for getting so angry.

Location: Neworchard, Kilkenny Rural, The Municipal District of Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny, Leinster, R95 HH99, Ireland

Editing Openstreetmap in JOSM with Strava Layer High Resolution Enabled

Posted by erickdeoliveiraleal on 26 May 2020 in English (English)

More field names

Posted by b-unicycling on 26 May 2020 in English (English)

I have befriended this farmer who has given me a lot of field names today. His family has been on the land for five generations, so some of the names are in Irish, but we both had no idea how to spell them. So I spelled them how I would spell them and then looked the townsland up in Owen O’Kelly’s Book “Place-names of County Kilkenny” and tried to match them up, but my Irish is really bad and not sufficient for such a job.

I also found a benchmark on his land which I had overlooked earlier.

I have another list of 80 odd field names I got today from a different townsland (Ruthstown) and it looks like I got all the fields in that townsland. I have my work cut out for me. I hope DeBigC and Sascha are gonna be pleased. I am.

Location: Grove or Cramersgrove, Kilkieran, The Municipal District of Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland

SA School Mapping Started

Posted by alexkemp on 25 May 2020 in English (English)
Carmarthenshire Ceredigion Pembrokeshire Powys Swansea
Find a Carmarthenshire School Find a Ceredigion School Find a Pembrokeshire School Find a Powys School Find a Swansea School
List of schools (PDF) List of schools (PDF) List of schools (PDF) List of schools (PDF) List of Schools (PDF)


I was impressed with the accuracy & fullness of detail in the English EduBase after doing ~1,000 schools. After only 3 entries my sentiments are at the opposite end of the bar where Welsh schools are concerned. That reached rock-bottom when the 3rd one (Ysgol Y Bedol, link above) turned out to be wrong in every respect - the site is being redeveloped for domestic housing (as best as I can tell) and a new building is built & functioning up the road at Twyn.

Type: Welsh establishment

Each school so far is marked as School type: Welsh establishment; I’ve searched & searched but cannot discover what on earth that is supposed to mean. My initial assumption is that it means bi-lingual (Welsh + English) (certainly how each website operates) and possibly has the local council as the operator. I would appreciate feedback from someone that knows, and also what mapping to use.

All of the 4 schools that I’ve updated so far are dual Welsh + English instruction. That does not get dealt with in the wiki dealing with schools, but here’s an example of the tags to deal with that:–

name=Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi
name:cy=Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi
name:en=Cardigan Secondary School

You will find a full list of language subtags at the subtag page;
English == ‘en’
Welsh == ‘cy’;

Information from the Horse’s Mouth

The Carmarthenshire Council Info-for-Parents PDF supplies all the info that is missing from EduBase, and then adds some.

Here is a précis of the language situation in Welsh schools (and just to say that it must be terrifying to have a behemoth like English breathing at their neck whilst trying to ensure that their native tongue survives):–

General Principles
Carmarthenshire believes in the educational value of being conversant in two languages and is strongly in favour of a bilingual policy in its primary schools. The long term aim of this bilingual policy is to teach children to be completely bilingual in the use of Welsh and English by the time they leave primary school, to enable them to become full members of the bilingual society of which they are a part.

Language categories applied to Primary Schools
WM: Welsh Medium:at least 70% of teaching through medium of Welsh
DS: Dual Stream:both languages side-by-side
TR: Transitional School:both languages used but with greater emphasis on Welsh
EW:mostly English
EM: English Medium School:Welsh taught as a second language

Finding the school Operator is as much a nightmare with Carmarthenshire schools as it is with English schools. The PDF talks in terms of “Admission Authorities”, and I suspect that that is as close as I am going to get. It’s a Minator’s labyrinth:

  • There is no automatic right to a place at a school
  • You must make an application to an admissions authority for your child to be admitted to a school
Admission Authorities
Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools:(name of Authority not mentioned; probably Carmarthenshire County Council)
Voluntary Aided Church Schools, Protestant:(name of Authority not mentioned; probably Church of Wales)
Voluntary Aided Church Schools, Catholic:(name of Authority not mentioned; must be Catholic Church)


Website gone awol

Website was the one EduBase weakness (sometimes missing, often wrong) but here it is completely absent. Even Google let me down but, thankfully, schoolswebdirectory came through and had each one so far.

27 May Update:
I found the website for full details on all Carmarthenshire schools, including their websites, via a Carmarthenshire Council Info-for-Parents PDF.

28 May Update:
Full details on all Pembrokeshire schools via a Pembrokeshire Council List-of-schools PDF & Ceredigion schools via the Council website (cannot find a PDF compilation).

29 May Update:
It has belatedly dawned on me that many of the schools that I’ve dealt with so far - and particularly the Welsh Medium schools - are predominantly Welsh-speaking. In that situation I should map them in Welsh & add the English version words as extras (rather than the other way round). I’ve been attempting to do that for each school. It does mean that my updates are terrifyingly slow, and I cannot guarantee to be doing it perfectly. But I’m doing the best I can.

30 May Update:
Swansea council added to the list at top. Unfortunately the webpage means clicking through 9 lists to find the single school that you want. Also found better replacements for logos + missing PDF compilations of schools (hint: “info for parents”).

1 June Update:
Powys council added to the list at top.

Ah well, I’ll keep buggering on, as Churchill always advised.

OpenStreetMap Cartographic: A client-side rendered OpenStreetMap Carto

Posted by pnorman on 25 May 2020 in English (English)

Cross-posted from my blog

I’ve been working on a new project, OpenStreetMap Cartographic. This is a client-side rendering based on OpenStreetMap Carto. This is an ambitious project, as OpenStreetMap Carto is an extremely complex style which shows a large number of features. The technical choices I’m making are designed so the style is capable of handling the load of with minutely updates.

I’ve put up a world-wide demo at, using data from 2020-03-16, and you can view the code at

Preview image

Incomplete parts

Only zoom 0 to 8 has been implemented so far. I started at zoom 0 and am working my way down.

Admin boundaries are not implemented. OpenStreetMap Carto uses Mapnik-specific tricks to deduplicate the rendering of these. I know how I can do this, but it requires the changes I intend to make with the flex backend.

Landuse, vegetation, and other natural features are not rendered until zoom 7. This is the scale of OpenStreetMap Carto zoom 8, and these features first appear at zoom 5. There are numerous problems with unprocessed OpenStreetMap data at these scales. OpenStreetMap Carto gets a result that looks acceptable but is poor at conveying information by tweaking Mapnik image rasterizing options. I’m looking for better options here involving preprocessed data, but haven’t found any.

I’m still investigating how to best distribute sprites.


The technology choices are designed to be suitable for a replacement for This means minutely updates, high traffic, high reliability, and multiple servers. Tilekiln, the vector tile generator, supports all of these. It’s designed to better share the rendering results among multiple servers, a significant flaw with renderd + mod_tile and the standard filesystem storage. It uses PostGIS’ ST_AsMVT, which is very fast with PostGIS 3.0. On my home system generates z0-z8 in under 40 minutes.

Often forgotten is the development requirements. The style needs to support multiple developers working on similar areas, git merge conflicts while maintaining an easy development workflow. I’m still figuring this out. Mapbox GL styles are written in JSON and most of the tools overwrite any formatting. This means there’s no way to add comments to lines of codes. Comments are a requirement for a style like this, so I’m investigating minimal pre-processing options. The downside to this will make it harder to use with existing GUI editors like Fresco or Maputnik.


The goal of this project isn’t to do big cartography changes yet, but client-side rendering opens up new tools. The biggest immediate change is zoom is continuous, no longer an integer or fixed value. This means parameters like sizes can smoothly change as you zoom in and out, specified by their start and end size instead of having to specify each zoom.

Want to help?

Have a look at and have a go at setting it up and generating your own map. If you have issues, open an issue or pull request. Or, because OpenStreetMap Cartographic uses Tilekiln have a look at its issue list.

HU School Mapping Completed

Posted by alexkemp on 24 May 2020 in English (English)

Phew. ~200 schools.

Hull was my birth-town and where I lived until ~30. I have now lived in Nottingham longer than I did in Hull.

It was fascinating to see the scale of change in the schools that I know. I do not think that a single school that I attended or knew remains in use, let alone is unchanged.

That’s Hull for you.

Now it is hello SA (Carmarthenshire / Sir Gaerfyrddin).


Posted by AmeliaMap on 24 May 2020 in English (English)


Help the Philippines map the Mindanao region to support rural farming, gender, healthcare and artisan communities. The Mindanao region grows almost half the country’s food, yet remains the poorest population, with many communities at 30-70% poverty incidence. War and conflict have increased in the region in recent years, with security and safety concerns for girls and women. Our goal is to help map rural agriculture and understand the gender gap to plan improved infrastructure with long term impacts on health, well-being and livelihood for girls, women, Indigenous Peoples and farm families.

Mapped buildings and roads for 1.5 hours.

I Hope I Did This Right

Posted by apm-wa on 23 May 2020 in English (English)

Last evening I created for the first time a multilingual (Russian, in this case) version of a wiki page. I pulled up the instructions and drew on some experience editing Wikipedia to create a RU: version, then used DeepL to create a rough draft translation in a word processor. Next I plowed through the machine translation and edited it as best my command of the Russian language could permit. Along the way I discovered I do not know certain terms of art, such as how to say “ground truth” in Russian. At some point I will have to ask a native speaker of Russian to take a look at it and do some cleanup.

You can find the interim result of this work here. I surely do hope I followed the instructions correctly!

Goodbye Foursquare, Hello OpenStreetMap!

Posted by pzumk on 23 May 2020 in English (English)

I have just now deleted my accounts on Foursquare and Swarm after being an active (super) user for 10 years with more than 40000 active check-ins, 1000+ photos, 100s tipps for other users and a innumerable amount of added location data which has been used by Twitter and other services.

I don’t want to check-in and contribute my data anymore. I don’t want to actively feed their system with my data, if possible not even passively.

Since Foursquare doesn’t care about the time their super users have been spending to keep the Foursquare-data fresh whilst bots are wasting our time with nonsense data, and since they are also pretty much abandoning their normal users too, I have decided to leave the platform and join OpenStreetMap to contribute to a real crowdsourced and open platform.

Thanks to Foursquare I know pretty much about random POI and I’m going to use that knowledge to edit the OSM. Right now I’m reading a lot of the FAQs and Wikis because OSM isn’t easy, but I’m pretty sure I’ll contribute for many years.

(The original diary entry was a copy of my tweets, starting with this once: But I have edited the entry to make it more readable as I didn’t realise this is public, haha)

Location: Centre, Hanover, Region Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany